Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Enjoys a Lazy Sunday - The US Air Force Seal and Symbol - Sept. 25th, 2005
Posted on 09/25/2005 6:42:25 AM PDT by snippy_about_it
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.
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Prior to enactment of the National Security Act of 26 July 1947, Mr. Arthur E. DuBois of the Military Planning Division, Office the Quartermaster General, Department of the Army, prepared a study of flags and seals for consideration by the three services.
These drawings were first reviewed by Army officials in the office of the Director of Personnel and Administration, then by Naval personnel in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, which also arranged to have the drawings reviewed by the Secretary of Defense.
In September 1947, proposed drawings of the Air Force Seal were first exhibited in the office of the Secretary of the Air Force. Later, a conference of approximately 30 top-ranking Air Force general officers considered the preferred one. The participants evaluated an Air Force seal with a green-colored background; it featured prominently at the honor point of the shield a Wright Brothers' airplane. This Seal has been prepared by the Heraldic Section of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Department of the Army, in coordination with Mr. Robert E. Ewin, Chief of the Air Force Uniform and Insignia Section. After review, conference participants decided that the background of the Department of the Air Force Seal should be blue rather than green, and that a symbolic design should be substituted in place of the Wright Brothers' airplane. During these discussions, Mr. Dubois picked up the design and on its reverse side made a pencil sketch of Jupiter's thunderbolt as a suggested symbol. When the Air Force representatives saw the pencil sketch and understood its significance, they agreed to adopt that design as the basic symbol for the Air Force Seal instead of the Wright Brothers' airplane. The words "Department of the Air Force" that appear around the upper rim of the Seal were drawn from the words of the National Security Act.
The final drawing of the Department of the Air Force Seal was completed in the Office of the Quartermaster General, Department of the Army, and approved by Harry S. Truman, President of the United States, on 1 November 1947.
The symbolism incorporated in the Great seal of the Department of the Air Force is as follows:
1. The predominant colors, ultramarine blue and gold, are the colors of the Air Force through transition from the Air Corps.
2. The 13 stars represent the Thirteen Original Colonies of the United States. The grouping of three stars at the top of the design portrays the three Departments of the National Defense Establishment, Army, Navy, and Air Force.
3. The crest includes the American Bald Eagle, which is the symbol of the United States and air striking power. The cloud formation depicts the creation of a new firmament, and the wreath, composed of six alternate folds of silver and blue, incorporate the colors of the basic shield design.
4. The shield, divided with the nebuly line formation, representing clouds, is charged with the heraldic thunderbolt. The thunderbolt portrays striking power through the medium of air.
5. The Roman numerals beneath the shield indicate the year 1947, in which the Department of the Air Force was established.
6. On a band encircling the whole is the inscription "Department of the Air Force" and "United States of America".
The entire design used on the shield of the Air Force Seal is taken from an heraldic representation of the mythological thunderbolt, also termed Jupiter's thunderbolt,. Jupiter was the Roman mythological God of the Heavens. At the honor point of the shield is a lightning bolt or elongated projectile-like mass, conceived of as the missile cast to earth in the lightning flash. The word thunderbolt--a single discharge of lightning with the accompanying thunder--derived from the idea that lightning was a bolt thrown to earth by a god.The pair of wings and smaller lightning flashes surrounding the bolt complete the design.
The eagle's head is turned to the right and symbolizes facing the enemy--looking toward the future and not dwelling on past deeds.
Above Information Provided by the Air Force History Office
Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.
As much as I love my Air Force, the explanation behind the "symbol" is bull plop. It's an updated version of what was called the "Hap Arnold Star", AKA the Army Air Forces HQ SSI. The insignias of the numbered air forces all incorporated the winged star in one form or another (the Eighth Air Force, for example, was a winged 8 with the star in the lower loop of the 8). When the Air Force shifted to the "airline" blues in the early 90s, the Mars shield of the great seal of the USAF was removed from the buttons and the Hap Arnold Star was put on instead.
The link to the history of the Air Force is undeniable, and many of us when I was in lo those many years ago, longed for us to have a symbol we could feel as proud of as say, the Cavalry's crossed sabres or the Marine Corps' eagle, globe and anchor. The wing and star struck us on the same level as the EGA did Marines.
In the early days of the Air Force, the wing and star were found on flight gear, parkas, physical conditioning t-shirts, squadron mugs.....heck, lots of places. Sometime in the early to mid 60s it was dropped from use, but once in a while you'd find it turn up on an item that was old and being re-issued. I got issued an old K-2 flight suit at one point, and it had the wing and star on the sleeve. I was told I couldn't use the suit because it wasn't fire resistant, but I kept the suit anyway for its collector value. I've loved that symbol since I was a kid, and I have it on the WWII jackets in my collection and as a sticker in the rear window of my car. I've had active duty airmen ask why I don't have the current symbol and I tell them that this is the true symbol of the Air Force.....not a PR officer designed variation.
We should go back to the classic star....pride never changes.
On This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on September 25:
1644 Olaus Rímer Denmark, 1st to accurately measure speed of light
1657 Imre Thokoly, Hungarian patriot, opposed Habsburg rule
1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot designed & built 1st automobile
1766 Armand-Emmanuel duc de Richelieu, French PM (1815-18, 1820-21)
1877 Plutarco El¡as Calles Mexican revolutionary, president (1924-28)
1897 William Faulkner Mississippi, author (Sound & the Fury-Nobel 1949)
1905 Red Smith Green Bay Wisc, sportscaster/columnist (Fight Talk)
1906 Dimitri Shostakovich St Petersburg Russia, composer (9th-1945)
1918 Phil Rizzuto Bkln NY, sportscaster/shortstop (NY Yankees-MVP 1950)
1920 Sergey Bondarchuk Belozerka Ukraine, director (War & Peace)
1926 Aldo Ray actor (God's Little Acre, Naked & the Dead, Green Beret)
1926 Sergei Filatov USSR, equestrian dressage (Olympic-gold-1960)
1931 Barbara Walters Boston Mass, newscaster (Today, 20/20, ABC-TV)
1936 Juliet Prowse Bombay India, actress/dancer
1943 Robert Walden NYC, actor (Joe Rossi-Lou Grant, New Doctors)
1944 Michael Douglas NJ, actor (Coma, Wall St, Jewel of the Nile)
1949 Anson Williams LA Calif, actor (Potsie-Happy Days)
1951 Mark Hamill Oakland Calif, actor (Star Wars)
1952 Christopher Reeve actor (Superman)
1961 Heather Locklear LA Calif, actress (Stacy-T.J. Hooker)
1965 Fresh Prince [Will Smith], rapper/actor (Wild Wild West, Men In Black)
1967 Lezlie Lund Tolna ND, Miss ND-America (1991)
Doh, snippy, is this your puppy?? Sweet little guy/gal.
Regards he he he
Yep, that's our boy Sarge. He was born on the 4th of July. We've had him about 3 weeks now. Boy is he a handful!
I agree with you. So much history is in the old symbols and patches from when it was the AAF. This "new" symbol just doesn't stir anything inside up. Maybe we're getting old. :-(
I hate the current symbol, along with the current slogans used by all the services.
What was wrong with "Aim High"? I'm sure there are a number of mumbo jumbo answers. All of them total BS. The real answer to me, is X42 vs Reagan.
Nice summary. The new symbol sucks.
Some traditions are best not messed with.